Properties of Water Lab!! This download includes an instructions handout, answer sheets, and an answer key.
Students are asked to visit 7 stations in order to investigate the properties that make water vital to life on this earth. I recommend giving students at least 10 min. per lab station and also having them work in groups of 2-4. The teacher should set up the stations in advance. Materials needed are: water, pennies, plastic droppers, dish soap, ethanol, Q-tips, beakers, salt, sugar, vegetable oil, capillary tubes, (or straws will work too), food coloring, ice cubes, and lots of paper towels!
Station 1: introduction: asks students a few questions to get them thinking about the properties of water.
Station 2: has students first write a hypothesis about how many water drops can fit on a penny and then test it. This procedure is repeated for a penny covered in dish soap to demonstrate cohesion.
Station 3: compares heat of vaporization of water to ethanol and looks at heat capacity.
Station 4: attempts to dissolve 4 substances to show that water dissolves almost anything.
Station 5: floats an ice cube to show density.
Station 6: looks at adhesion with a capillary tube (or a straw) and a cup of water. Food coloring can be added to the water to make it easier to see.
Station 7: revisits station 1 and asks students to determine which property is being examined at each station.
I would recommend doing station 1 the day before the lab and then assigning station 7 for homework after they finish stations 2-6 in class. This way, you should be able to finish the lab in 1 period.
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